A young Maltese filmmaker has captured the essence of laid-back Valletta living with his latest project ‘Delizzju – The Collector From Valletta’.
17 year-old Kurt Micallef’s short video exploring a Valletta man’s hobby packs a great punch in its three minute running time. The protagonist, Peter Spiteri, explains how he came to be the proud owner of a 3,000 strong collection of colourful mugs, beer mats and whisky glasses, all beautifully displayed on neat wooden shelves in his lower Republic Street store room.
“I started my collection around 25 years ago” he recounts in the film. “I’d had an accident and hurt my back, so I was housebound. My doctor suggested I picked up a hobby, so I said to myself I’d start a collection.”
And what a collection it is! The great thing about Spiteri’s store room collection is that he’s there everyday from morning ’til noon, so being the friendly Valletta boy he is, he’s happy to welcome tourists in to marvel at his trinkets, who often stay on for a chat.
It’s not so much the collection that is the star of the show—awesome as it may be—but the collector himself who’s humility shines through, not realising it’s him who’s the main attraction.
Talking about his beloved football club Valletta FC, the collector’s face lights up. “Carnival and football is our religion” he says with a smile, referring to the proud Beltin, as the camera pans to the football scarves and squad photos of yesteryear.
Micallef’s film, which was entered into a competition called #MySecretMalta, is a true taste of home, and is the side of Valletta that doesn’t get quite as much attention as it deserves.
We’re very quick to fall back on the Knights Of St John and the Grandmasters of the past when we want to impress foreign visitors, but we mustn’t overlook our everyday heroes – the all-night bakers preparing Maltese bread for the city in the wee hours, the friendly barmen serving up lagers and peanuts with a smile, and all the other characters that make our Capital the charming traveller’s paradise it really is.
Just in time for Valletta 2018, young Micallef is on the right track to recognising what really makes us next year’s Capital of Culture. If only more of us could see what he sees. Thanks to his tentative lens, now we can.